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Review
. 2018 Feb 1;414:239-249.
doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2017.11.025. Epub 2017 Nov 24.

The Future of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapeutic Approaches for Cancer - From Cells to Ghosts

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Review

The Future of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapeutic Approaches for Cancer - From Cells to Ghosts

Andrea Mohr et al. Cancer Lett. .

Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stromal cells which can differentiate into a variety of cell types including osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes. They are normally resident in adipose tissue, bone marrow and the umbilical cord, but can also be found in other tissues and are known to be recruited to sites of wound healing as well as growing tumours. The therapeutic potential of MSCs has been explored in a number of phase I/II and III clinical trials, of which several were targeted against graft-versus-host disease and to support engraftment of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), but currently only very few in the oncology field. There are now three clinical trials either ongoing or recruiting patients that use MSCs to treat tumour disease. In these, MSCs target gastrointestinal, lung and ovarian cancer, respectively. The first study uses MSCs loaded with a HSV-TK expression construct under the control of the CCL5 promoter, and has recently reported successful completion of Phase I/II. While no adverse side effects were seen during this study, no outcomes with respect to therapeutic benefits have been published. The other clinical trials targeting lung and ovarian cancer will be using MSCs expressing cytokines as therapeutic payload. Despite these encouraging early steps towards their clinical use, many questions are still unanswered regarding the biology of MSCs in normal and pathophysiological settings. In this review, in addition to summarising the current state of MSC-based therapeutic approaches for cancer, we will describe the remaining questions, obstacles and risks, as well as novel developments such as MSC-derived nanoghosts.

Keywords: Cancer; Cell therapy; Gene therapy; Mesenchymal stem cells; Nanoghosts.

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